Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

Whey Hey for the new Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

by Northern Life

Yorkshire Dales Cheese FestivalA new weekend festival will celebrate the rich cheese-making heritage of the Yorkshire Dales as well as shine the spotlight on the array of local cheeses that visitors can now enjoy.

The Cheese Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday 23-24 September at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes and will see a multitude producers and aficionados from across the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty offering product tastings as well as staging cookery, cheese-making, grading and drink-pairing demonstrations.

“The Festival will highlight the great stories as well as the passion of our producers”

Today’s burgeoning cheese scene across the Dales is thanks in part to the Cistercian monks who brought their fromage-making skills over from Normandy when they settled at abbeys such as Jervaulx and Fountains back in the 11th century, and started making Wensleydale cheese.

Now the iconic Yorkshire Wensleydale has been joined by a range of Yorkshire Dales delights such as Cotherdale, Swaledale, Ribblesdale, Yorkshire Blue and Fine Fettle cheeses, and the food’s success has spawned a whole side-industry with preserves, chutneys and accessories all being created within the National Park.

In honour of this, the Festival will also mark the revival of several existing trails and the introduction of new walking and cycling tours enabling visitors to explore the picturesque countryside and trace the importance of the monks’ contribution and the evolution of cheese-making and dairying across the region, tasting local specialities as they go.

The Festival will then lead into a further five days of events right across the Yorkshire Dales with restaurants, cafes, farms and attractions coming together to champion the fantastic range of food that is produced on the doorstep.

Helen Dalton, destination co-ordinator for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority commented: “The Dales has a huge range of talented food and drink producers and an amazing selection of places serving great dishes where Yorkshire ingredients are the stars.

“With so many types of cheese being produced within the Yorkshire Dales, often with centuries-old recipes handed down through the generations, the Festival will highlight the great stories as well as the passion of our producers to make great-tasting cheeses that are really making their mark in the culinary world.”

Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

Meet the suppliers

Saturday 23rd September

Farm to Fork Presentation

Yorkshire Dales Team Building give you the opportunity to understand and appreciate the iconic Swaledale Lamb. After the introduction there will be a 20 minute film about the origin of the lamb followed by a question and answer session with a local farmer. There will then be an opportunity to eat the delicious lamb which has been specially prepared and slow roasted to perfection, served with delicious accompaniments, followed by a local cheese board.

Sunday 24th September

Jervaulx Abbey’s tea room and Chapter House will provide a stunning backdrop for local suppliers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale AoNB to showcase their products. Go along and enjoy what the suppliers have to offer and have a wonderful experience in the much loved Jervaulx tea rooms.

26th September

Making and marketing cheese in the Victorian Kitchen at Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes (Included in the Museum admission price. 2-4pm)

27th and 29th September

Drop in, chat and taste local cheese, try your hand at making real butter and discover delicious Yorkshire Dales oatcakes and the historical stories these everyday ingredients tell. (Included in the Museum admission price. 1.30 – 4.30pm)

Glorious game celebration

Saturday 30th September

Bolton Castle will be hosting the grand finale dinner for the Cheese Festival, celebrating local produce in the famous old kitchen with a talk about game and the grouse moor from the owner Tom orde-Powlett. Guy Fairhurst will provide a unique and very special five course meal celebrating and embracing local produce.

Berry’s Farm Shop will be hosting a Cheese and Wine Tasting eventing.

Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

The Courtyard Dairy

Court Yard Dairy will be offering a tour of a Yorkshire Dales farm to experience traditional cheese making followed by cheese tasting back at the Court Yard Dairy.

Sue Nelson, The Yorkshire Food Finder will be putting on a fantastic and exciting event at Court Yard Dairy to really celebrate cheese.

Three Hares at Sedbergh will be creating a spectacular six course Yorkshire taster menu.

Simonstone Hall are currently planning lots of exciting events including a promotion of their fantastic Yorkshire menu which champions locally-sourced ingredients.

Cheese event – at Wensleydale Creamery

Start at 10am and finish at 5pm

Buses to run from the bottom of Hawes to the top.


Positioned on the car park at the front

  • Cheese suppliers
  • Various suppliers from the shop
  • Bread
  • Various drinks (local ales, gin).

Visitors to the event get the opportunity to see and taste all the cheeses that are produced within Yorkshire and to try all the wonderful products that the Creamery stocks.

Museum Tour
  • Cheese demonstrations
  • Butter making demonstrations
  • A guide to understanding cheese grading
  • Cookery demonstrations using local cheese and ingredients by locally-recognised chefs
  • Cheese tasting and pairing in the barn
Garden Area
  • Tractor Ted, games, equipment and toys
  • Activities for the children, face painting, design a label create a recipe. All under the Creamery gazebo.
  • Brymor ice-cream van
  • BBQ – cheese burgers
Other events in Hawes
  • Experience the history of the Dales Kitchen at Dales Countryside Museum
  • Farm to folk talk and tasting at the National School House Hawes from 6pm
  • Tours at Gayle Mill
  • Cheese walks